One Regulator, one rule book delivers new National Driver Work Diary


Heavy vehicle drivers will be freed from unnecessary paperwork with the release of the new National Driver Work Diary, scheduled to roll out today with the new Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).

National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) CEO, Richard Hancock, says the new work diary developed in partnership with the National Transport Commission (NTC) is easier to fill out and also includes more detailed advice on fatigue laws and guidance on how to count time.
“Drivers need to be focused upon planning their trip and managing their fatigue. Taking away needlessly repetitive note-taking that causes drivers’ real frustration is a step that will help everyone,“ said Mr Hancock.
Specific changes include:

  • drivers will only have to make a written record of their vehicle registration once a day or if they change vehicle, rather than every single time they stop for a break​​​
  • drivers will only have to record the location and odometer reading at the start of a rest break, unless the location or odometer reading has changed during the break or the break ends on a new work diary sheet
  • drivers will only be required to record their operator’s Basic Fatigue Management or Advanced Fatigue Management accreditation number once in the entire diary (or again if it changes), rather than on every single daily sheet
  • solo drivers are no longer required to record the state or territory where their licence was issued
  • a new optional comments section is included to allow recording of information such as delays and notes made by authorised officers.

“Drivers don’t need to rush out and buy the new work diary straight away,” said Mr Hancock.
“We want to give industry time to make the change. Drivers can keep their current work diary, until it is full, or for up to six months after the new national law commences in their state. After that period, though, they will have to pick up a copy of the new work diary.
"The HVNL doesn’t change any of the work or rest hours that applied to drivers and operators under previous laws. The limits and breaks in Standard Hours and BFM are unchanged,” Mr Hancock said.
However, under the HVNL, more Queensland drivers will soon be using the work diary. Currently in Queensland, drivers operating under standard hours must use a work diary only if they operate beyond a 200km radius from their base. Under the HVNL, those same drivers must record their work and rest time in a work diary when they operate outside of a 100km radius.
“These changes bring Queensland into line with other states and territories which already have been operating with the 100km radius for many years,” Mr Hancock said.
The new work diaries will be used in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Tasmania will not use the new work diary until a later date. Western Australia and the Northern Territory will not commence the new national law at this time.
The updated work diary will be available for $20 from the same places where the current work diary is sold.
From today, heavy vehicle drivers can expect to learn more about the National Driver Work Diary through convenience advertising at more than 90 service stations across participating states and an extensive on-air campaign with Truck Radio.
For more information and details of work diary sale points, visit the NHVR website or call 1300 MYNHVR (1300 696 487). Standard 1300 call charges apply. Please check with your phone provider.

Work diaries in each jurisdiction 

The information below clarifies how work diaries will operate in each state and across borders.


  • Under the HVNL, the Queensland limit for local area work under standard hours has been lowered from 200km to 100km, bringing it into line with other participating jurisdictions.
  • If you drive more than 100km from your home base using standard hours, you must use a work diary.

New South Wales

  • Within NSW, AFM and BFM drivers only have to carry a work diary if travelling outside a 100km radius of their base.  


  • Tasmania has not yet commenced the national provisions dealing with fatigue and work diaries.
  • Current Tasmanian rules for work diaries will remain in place.
  • Drivers in Tasmania who purchase the new national work diary when the national law commences must complete the work diary according to the current Tasmanian legislation and not the new national law, unless travelling interstate.
  • If you travel to mainland states that have commenced the national law, you must use a work diary to record work and rest hours at all times if you are driving 100km or more.
  • Unless you have a record-keeping exemption permit, you will also need to complete a work diary if you are working under Basic Fatigue Management or Advanced Fatigue Management Accreditation.

Australian Capital Territory

  • The ACT will not commence the fatigue and work diary, IAP, speeding or NHVAS provisions of the HVNL at this time.
  • As drivers of heavy vehicles located in the ACT regularly drive interstate, work diaries may be kept in accordance with the requirements of those other jurisdictions and as part of a fatigue risk management system.
  • Work diaries will continue to be available for purchase from the ACT’s Road Transport Authority.

Northern Territory and Western Australia

  • The Northern Territory (NT) and Western Australia (WA) will not commence the new national law at this time.
  • If you are a driver in the Northern Territory or Western Australia, you don’t have to use a work diary or similar unless you leave the state or territory. You may still use a work diary as part of your fatigue risk management system.
  • If you enter and stay within the Northern Territory or Western Australia for less than seven days, you should fill out the work diary for the entire period.
  • When leaving the Northern Territory or Western Australia after a stay of more than seven days, you must use the work diary from at least the last major rest break before crossing the border.

Work diary exemptions

  • Heavy vehicle drivers operating under standard hours who are unable to make records in their National Driver Work Diary because of literacy issues or a print disability may apply directly to the NHVR for a work diary exemption (permit). 
  • To apply for this permit, the driver must be able to substantiate their literacy issues or print disability, such as through a medical certificate, and nominate an assistant to help the driver complete their National Driver Work Diary at a suitable time.
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